About Melissa and START Now

START Now is based in New Zealand, with a purpose to help people and businesses create more meaningful and sustainable work. An agile business which is proud to work with courageous individuals seeking a new start in their life & career, as well as businesses looking to bring new value to their employees.

In a high-speed world, this is the new superpower for organisations, teams, and you.

Melissa Jenner


START NOW was founded by New Zealander Melissa Jenner in 2015, out of a deep desire to help others re-build their careers and find new joy after her own experience.

“I suddenly found myself wanting and needing a new direction, but with no idea how to begin. Everywhere I looked, everyone and everything was telling me “just follow your purpose” or “do what you love”. Fine, but how? What I realised was when you’re trying to build something new, you need a good process. It’s risky, and I needed a method I could rely on”.

Melissa left her role as Director of Better by Design for NZ Trade & Enterprise to create START Now. Trained in Design Thinking at Stanford d-School, Melissa pioneered the application of Human Centred Design to the personal innovation challenge many people face – re-imagining and building a career they love.

Before START Now, Melissa was a Marketer, a Strategist and a General Manager. With over 20 years experience, she has worked in senior leadership roles for a range of large corporates (including Microsoft and Barclays) some of the world’s most creative businesses (including Saatchi & Saatchi), and in some of the biggest cities in the world (including London & New York).  

She has also gained a Certificate in Leadership from Columbia Business School in New York, accredited in Organisational Agility from Tech Futures Lab, studied Psychology at Auckland University and is a trained Lifeline Coach. 

In addition to running START Now, Melissa is a coach on the Tech Futures Lab Masters programme in Auckland, a consultant with Leadership Lab in Christchurch, and a coach at AUT Brightside.

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